×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Timothee Chalamet Says He Wanted to Be LeBron James Growing Up (Watch)

Timothee Chalamet accepted the spotlight award for his work in “Beautiful Boy” at Thursday’s Palm Springs International Film Festival, and took the opportunity to reveal that he didn’t always want to be an actor.

“There’s a moment when you’re growing up where you realize the adults around you, your parents, they’re all just people. Everyone is just a messy human, and today that’s what inspires me the most in my acting,” he began.

“But that realization at first, that we’re all vulnerable, is kind of scary and defeating,” he continued. “At first I wanted to be a professional athlete, think LeBron James and Lionel Messi. They inspired me with their invincibility; I looked in the mirror and I humbly realized I’d never be an athlete for many reasons,” he said as the audience laughed.

“Freakishly small frame,” he ackowledged, “but more importantly my very glaring lack of athletic talent.”

Chalamet explained he went to a performing arts school in New York and, there, began to act, which changed his entire perspective.

“Something changed and I felt myself falling in love for the first time in my life. I was getting inspired in a way I had when I’d wanted to become an athlete, but this time the inspiration wasn’t to be superhuman, but to be very human indeed,” he said. “The invincible Messis and LeBrons weren’t as interesting to me as the artists who were vulnerable for a living — the Heath Ledgers, the Joaquin Phoenixes.”

Chalamet went on to praise Laura Dern, who introduced him, explaining that he remembers watching “‘Blue Velvet,’ which you shot when you were 17 years old and being so deeply moved.”

Watch the full speech above.

More Film

  • Berlin Film 'The Ground Beneath My

    Berlin Competition Film 'The Ground Beneath My Feet' Sold to Germany's Salzgeber (EXCLUSIVE)

    Salzgeber has acquired the German rights for Berlin Film Festival competition title “The Ground Beneath My Feet” from sales agent Picture Tree International. Variety has been given exclusive access to the film’s trailer. Salzgeber will release the film, directed by Marie Kreutzer, mid-May. Trailer for Berlin Film Festival competition title “The Ground Beneath My Feet” [...]

  • Donald Glover'Atlanta' TV show premiere, Arrivals,

    Childish Gambino Surprises Beverly Hills Crowd With Reimagined 'Redbone'

    Donald Glover made an unexpected appearance at Film Independent’s “An Evening With…” series tonight (Jan. 15), held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and presented by the HFPA. Joining “Black Panther” composer and Childish Gambino collaborator Ludwig Göransson, who was the subject of a Q&A conducted by “The Treatment” host Elvis [...]

  • 76th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS --

    Film News Roundup: Glenn Close Selected for Oscar Wilde Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Glenn Close gets an honor, AFI names its Directing Workshop for Women participants and Teri Polo gets cast in a Christmas drama. CLOSE HONOR Glenn Close will be honored on Feb. 21 by the US-Ireland Alliance at the 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards, held at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot in [...]

  • Jason Reitman Ghostbusters

    Jason Reitman to Direct Secret 'Ghostbusters' Movie

    Sony Pictures is getting the wheels in motion for the next installment in the “Ghostbusters” franchise, and it knows who it’s going to call to direct: Jason Reitman. Sources tell Variety that Reitman, whose father, Ivan, directed the first two “Ghostbusters” movies, will direct the latest pic in the famous franchise. Reitman has also co-written a [...]

  • L.A. Teachers' Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions

    Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents and Educators as L.A. Teachers' Strike Rages

    Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students. More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane [...]

  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON in Glass. M.

    ‘Glass’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Glass.” Ads placed for the superhero thriller had an estimated media value of $9.89 million through Sunday for 1,183 national [...]

  • Danny Glover

    Danny Glover Joins 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' Sequel

    Danny Glover has joined the cast of Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” sequel. His role is being kept under wraps, as is the storyline. Glover will star opposite Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, all of whom are set to return. Awkwafina is in final negotiations for a significant part in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content